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South Dakota Committee Votes to Rescind Medical Marijuana Home Grow Rights

A South Dakota legislative committee voted to rescind provisions in a voter-approved medical marijuana ballot measure that would allow qualifying patients to grow their own cannabis plants for personal use.

Members of South Dakota’s Medical Marijuana Study Subcommittee voted 6-4 in favor of removing these provisions from Measure 26, the medical cannabis initiative approved by nearly 70 percent of voters on Election Day last year.

Subcommittee members will now hold a vote on whether to advance this recommendation to South Dakota’s legislature for further deliberation.

The move is the latest in a long line of attempts by South Dakota lawmakers to undermine the results of marijuana-related, voter-approved ballot measures.

Gov. Kristi Noem campaigned aggressively against the medical marijuana proposal in the run-up to the vote, while House lawmakers voted to postpone the initiative’s implementation beyond the set date of July 1, 2021. That effort ultimately came to nothing, however, as House and Senate lawmakers couldn’t agree on certain provisions in the bill.

As it stands, the regulators of South Dakota’s medical marijuana program must start issuing registration cards to qualifying patients by May 15, 2022.

South Dakota voters also approved a second marijuana ballot measure last year – Amendment A – that would legalize possession and regulate sales of cannabis to adults 21 and older.

It has also been subject to fierce opposition by South Dakota lawmakers, despite receiving 54 percent of the vote.

Gov. Noem’s administration used state funds to start legal proceedings against the amendment on the basis that it’s unconstitutional since it violates the state’s one-topic rule for such initiatives.

Earlier this year, Judge Christina Klinger of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Court sided with the plaintiffs. The group behind Amendment A filed an appeal which was heard by the state Supreme Court in April, but the justices are yet to deliver a verdict.

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